The Invasion Year
(Lewrie – 17)
This one is dedicated to Forrest
Forrest was my shadow, and my foot-warmer under the desk whenever I wrote even a short letter, much less a chapter of the books, and I miss that very much, too.
Let mountains, forests, lakes
and all the barriers of ocean open out before them;
hope and fear shall decide the day for all alike.
I myself by shifting the seat of empire upon earth
shall make trial which kingdom I shall elect to let
rule longest over all peoples, and in whose hands I
can without fear leave the reins of power once bestowed.
ARGONAUTICA, BOOK I 556-560
GAIUS VALERIUS FLACCUS
Woe to the vanquished.
~ HISTORY , BOOK X
TITUS LIVIUS (LIVY)
59 B.C.-17 A.D.
“Damme, but I do despise the bloody French!”
“Understandably, sir,” the First Lieutenant softly agreed.
“Their bloody general, Rochambeau,” Captain Alan Lewrie, RN, further gravelled, “he’d surrender t’that murderous General Dessalines and his Black rebel army, but he’s too damned proud t’strike to
“If they don’t come out and surrender to us, soon, it’ll be all ‘Frogs Legs
Evidently, the Black victors of the long, savage insurrection were getting anxious over when the French would depart, too, for those solid stone forts which had guarded the port from sea assault showed thin skeins of smoke, rising not from cook-fires but from forges where iron shot could be heated red-hot, amber-hot, to set afire those ships and all the beaten French survivors aboard them-soldiers, civilians, sailors, women, and children.
He lowered his glass and grimaced as he turned to face his First Officer, Lt. Geoffrey Westcott. “Is it askin’ too much, d’ye imagine, sir, that the Frogs could face facts? Which is the greater failure or shame… admittin’ the rebel slaves beat ’em like a rug, and surrenderin’ t’them… or strikin’ to a civilised foe, like us? They’ve
“Perhaps it’s the matter of Commodore Loring’s terms, sir,” Lt. Westcott supplied, inclining his head towards their senior officer’s flagship, idling under reduced sail further out to seaward. “He will not let them dis-arm and sail for France on their parole.”
“Be a fool if he did,” Lewrie said with a dismissive snort, “and Admiralty’d never forgive him for it if he did. We’d, escort them to Jamaica, intern their civilians… make the women and kiddies comfortable… Rochambeau and all his officers’d be offered parole, quarters, and funds ’til they’re exchanged…”
“Of course, we’d sling all their sailors and soldiers into the prisoner hulks,” Lt. Westcott added with a touch of whimsy, then, in a tongue-in-cheek manner, said, “And surely some of those French
“Hmm, well…,” Capt. Lewrie allowed, rocking on the balls of his feet, making his Hessian boots creak; they were new from a cobbler at Kingston, still in need of breaking in. “I expect
“Wish ye joy of it,” Lewrie said, turning to probe the harbour with his telescope once more.
Cap Francois, casually known as “Le Cap” in better days, had at one time been the richest